Let’s start with some assumptions: Israel is a legitimate sovereign nation within its recognized borders. Israel is and must remain a Jewish and Democratic state within its recognized borders. Essential to these values of Judaism and Democracy is giving all people full and equal rights regardless of race, nationality, religion, skin-color, gender, or sexual orientation.
These Jewish and Democratic values hold true within Israel, but they will no longer hold true if we continue to hold on to the West Bank and govern million of civilians who have no representation in the government that governs them.
An Israel that holds on to West Bank is an Israel that is treacherous to its most basic values.
An Israel that doesn’t pursue and build the groundwork for a two-state solution is an Israel that is not pursuant of its basic values.
Some people from the right would like to tell us that speaking out against settlements is anti-Israel. I want to say loud and clear that they are 100% wrong. Speaking out against the settlements is not only pro-Israel, but it is the act of true Zionists. Zionists who wants Israel to reflect their democratic values. Zionists who wants Israel to reflect their Jewish values.
That brings us to UN resolution 2334 that was approved December 23rd. Some people in the current government are making very grand statements that this resolution is anti-Israel and it serves the agenda of BDS.
This is political opportunism that hurts Israel as an international player, and it’s just plain wrong.
This is a resolution that expresses “concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution” and envisions “a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders.”
Is it anti-Israel to state concern over the fading possibility of a two-state solution?
The resolution doesn’t only talk about Israel and how it should pursue a two-state solution, it also addressed the Palestinians and the “obligation…for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to confront all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons.”
Is it anti-Israel to tackle Palestinian incitement and acts of terror?
And then there’s the general clause “Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction.”
Does that sound like something an Israeli Zionist disagrees with?
This resolution is not just not anti-Israel rhetoric, it is good for Israel. A resolution that states that Israel should cease construction in West Bank settlements legitimizes our existence within our sovereign pre-1967 borders. BDS wants to delegitimize our existence within any borders in Israel and this resolution says loud and clearly that Israel within the ‘67 borders is a legitimate state.
The resolution states that it “calls upon all States…to distinguish…between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;”
The distinction between Israel and the West Bank is such an important distinction and with some real ramifications. It’s a distinction that BDS doesn’t make, and a distinction that this resolution openly states.
A Zionist that values Israel as a Jewish and democratic state should look at this resolution and see it as a wake-up call. A wake-up call to the ramifications of the continuation of the settlement movement. A wake-up call to look at our actions in the West Bank, and ask if they align with our fundamental values as a state. In the words of the resolution, we need to “stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality“.
Continued building in the settlements erodes the possibility of the two-state solution. It is creating a de facto one-state.
As a proud Zionist, I’m working hard to reverse these dangerous trends and safeguard the possibility of a two-state solution and the possibility of our continued Jewish and Democratic state.
Tamar Zandberg is a member of Knesset in the Meretz party.